Maneuver, Celotto: “Silenced chambers? Unicameralism (im-perfect) has not been eliminated”

“Serious and shared reforms are necessary”

Didn’t the executive grant amendments to the budget law, ‘silencing’ both chambers, no longer just one? “Municameralism has not failed. Long live (im-perfect) unicameralism”, Alfonso Celotto, professor of Constitutional Law at the Roma Tre University, ironically provokes in a response to Adnkronos. “The number of amendments doesn’t matter. If we did painstaking work we would find similar cases. The reality is that in the last 40 years or so the way of producing laws has profoundly transformed: since the mid-1970s the legislative decree has become a reinforced legislative initiative used by all governments for significant initiatives as an alternative to the bill, given the great advantage of having to be examined within 60 days by Parliament”.

Celotto reconstructs the transformation process: “In the last 20 years the question of trust has consolidated, that is, the mechanism used by all governments (left, right, populists, technicians…) to lock down the parliamentary vote on important measures, for example example the budget, dropping all the amendments. And in the last 5 years we have moved to alternating unicameralism, that is, the most important provisions such as the budget law are examined by a single Chamber which sees the amendments and text and approves them, while instead the other chamber is limited to a ratification of confidence. Obviously in all this the role of the government has been strengthened and that of Parliament has been weakened. However, there has been talk of a crisis of parliamentary centrality for at least 50 years. And it is worrying. For this reason – concludes the constitutionalist , former head of cabinet of Minister Casellati – serious and shared institutional reforms would be necessary”.
(by Roberta Lanzara)